Pastel hair colors are soft, muted hues that create a much more vibrant dimension in tresses. With a broad spectrum of pastels, it’s versatile to pull off both edgy and romantic styles.
April Gent is a salon co-owner from Tallahassee, FL, proficient in balayage and vivid hues. According to her, achieving a pastel hair color is a commitment.
“First off, we have to get your hair to a very light blonde, which requires a lot of maintenance. This includes 4-8 weeks of root touch-ups and treatments to prevent damage and unwanted fading,” Gent explains.
Wash hair in cold water and use sulfate or cruelty-free products for at-home upkeep. Avoid heat-styling to help the pastel hair dye last longer.
Gent suggests the products from Amika, especially The Kure, which is a damage control line.
She warns about the usage of drugstore shampoos. “These cheap products over-cleanse the hair. These also leave a waxy build-up that makes the strands harder to lighten later,” Gent points out.
Always depend on the salon-quality products that your stylist recommends.
For dark-haired ladies, it’s vital to settle for a darker color first before you achieve a pastel shade. Gent’s advice is to “be open-minded and trust your stylist.”
To prevent surprises, set up a day for consultation. Ask your stylist how realistic your goal is and how much the process and upkeep will cost.
Can’t decide whether to go for a solid shade or multi-tonal hair? Here are the photos of the most popular pastel hair colors to guide you!
#1: Pastel Purple
Ube-flavored dreams in pastel colors are coming your way! A light and faded lilac hue, as colored by colorist Dana, surely got into the curly pastel purple tresses of this lovely lady.
#2: Pastel Muted Violet Hair
If you’re looking for a soft and delicate hair color, consider trying pastel muted violet. This muted violet shade is a beautiful blend of pale lavender and dusty purple tones, creating a dreamy and ethereal look. Pastel muted violet complements a range of skin tones, from light to medium, and adds a hint of romance and femininity to your overall appearance. To achieve this color, it’s best for you to consult with your colorist for the best custom mix of violet and pastel tones that suit your hair. To maintain the beautiful muted violet tone, seek a color-depositing shampoo and conditioner in a similar shade.
#3: Pastel with Warm Brown Roots
If you’re looking for a soft and feminine hair color, try pastel with warm brown roots. This color combination creates a beautiful contrast between the delicate pastel tones and the rich warmth of the brown roots. The pastel hues range from subtle lavender and baby pink to vibrant mint and peach. This hair color works well for those who want to add a touch of playfulness to their look while still keeping it grounded with the warmth of the brown roots. Pastels will complement a variety of skin tones, especially those with warm undertones.
#4: Unique Hairstyle with Pastel Tones
A unique hairstyle with pastel tones is a creative and individualistic hair trend that combines pastel hues with a soft twisted updo. This style provides artistic freedom and also showcases vivid pastel tones. The best way to achieve this style is by first bleaching the hair to create a clear canvas. Then, carefully apply pastel tones of pink and blue. Add rosettes to the twisted updo for some extra flair.
#5: Iridescent Rainbow Long Hair
Iridescent rainbow long hair, a mermaid-inspired hair trend, involves blending iridescent tones such as purples, greens, yellows, and orange with a base of long, flowing hair. A popular way to achieve this style’s rainbow effect is through the ombre technique. The interplay of colors adds an enchanting and ethereal quality, making it a bold choice for those who want to embrace a truly magical and eye-catching appearance.
#6: Barbie Blonde with Pastel Colored Tones
Barbie blondes are everywhere! But this Barbie blonde loves pastel-colored tones…and so do we!
#7: Pale Barbie Pink Hair
If you prefer a bright hair color, consider trying a pale pink Barbie shade. Pastel shades are perfect for blondes looking to subtly modify their hair’s brightness.
#8: Holographic Colored Hair
Holographic colored hair will give the illusion of light reflection to the hair. This bubble technique makes the hair resemble a bubble reflecting sunlight.
#9: Ashy Lavender Hair
Give your fine hair some whimsy with a playful shade of ashy lavender. Remember, when dyeing your hair this color, you must lighten it to a light blonde. This can be high maintenance and damaging. Keeping a hair repair mask on hand is a good idea, like Olaplex #8.
#10: Light Pastel Rainbow and Baby Blonde
You can’t go wrong with a light pastel rainbow hair color if you want to add a touch of color to your mid-length wavy locks. This hair color is perfect for those who want to experiment with multiple fun colors. It will give you an instant pop of trendy, unique, and fun color. It works best for those with lighter skin, as the pastel shades can sometimes wash out darker skin tones. To ensure the color holds up well, use a sulfate-free shampoo to keep your hair color vibrant and bright.
#11: Long and Gorgeous Pink Hair
Try a gorgeous pink tone if you have long blonde hair and want to try a low-commitment vivid shade. This color will fade quickly, so invest in a color-depositing mask to refresh this shade at home. I suggest Kera color in light pink.
#12: Pink to White Reverse Ombre
Add a subtle touch of femininity to your short hair and bangs at your next appointment. Consider a pastel pink-to-white reverse ombre to add that softness. The pale pink and bright white blend transitions nicely. It leaves your hair looking soft and radiant. This hair color is perfect for those with cool skin tones. It will help give a pop of color to your look without being overly dramatic or bold. For best results, it’s recommended to seek out a skilled professional. They will be experienced in softer, more delicate hair dye techniques.
#13: Vibrant Pastel Pink
If you love pastel hair, try this vibrant pastel pink! This is best if you have light to medium-colored hair. The best way to maintain this look would be to schedule regular toner appointments in the salon. And don’t forget to use professional products at home.
#14: Silver Mauve Pastel Hair
Silver mauve pastel hair is ethereal and whimsical! This stunning tone can be a fun way to shift your traditional blonde hair. The best way to achieve this style is through a global bleaching application. Then, toning the raw lift to a fun pastel violet hue. This may be a difficult color to achieve if you have naturally darker hair. I recommend a deeper mauve or violet for the best results.
#15: Pastel Peach Colored Hair
This short, pastel peach-colored hair features a grown-out, rooted look. These shades of pastel hair are for the type of woman who is always keen to try new things and doesn’t mind the maintenance and upkeep of the pastel life. It also complements light or pale skin tones.
#16: Pastel Peach with Pops of Blue on Blonde Hair
Try pastel peach with pops of blue if you have blonde hair. If you want to add a low-commitment color to your hair, pastel is generally the way to go. As pastel shades tend to fade out faster and don’t generally require to be lifted out with lighter or color remover, pastel colors can be easily changed out from session to session. Talk to your stylist about different levels of vividness that can add a flair of dimension to your color if you’re looking for a color that lasts longer than one session.
#17: Pastel Orange and Yellow
If you want a more colorful hair pattern, you can do so by asking for a dimension pastel. Your stylist will choose 2-3 different pastel colors that complement one another. If you want a money piece, ask them to put the brightest color along your hair that frames your face.
#18: Pastel Pink and Blue Color Melt
If you’re looking for a trendy way to show off your pastels, ask for a color block for your frontal area. Add a color melt on the rest of your hair. A color melt is two colors blended at their meeting point. A color block around your face is perfect for isolating a color and giving the appearance of a money piece.
#19: Peachy-Pink Pastel Long Hair
The peachy-pink pastel long hair is a to-die-for hairstyle. To achieve the perfect canvas, however, your hair needs to be pre-lightened and then toned. Then, a direct dye should be applied. With my years of experience, you may have to compromise the exact shade to keep the integrity of your hair. Don’t forget to use the right hair cosmetics at home, like Olaplex.
#20: Pastel Coral
Pastel coral is the perfect peachy gradient. To get this look, ask your colorist to lighten your hair completely solid with a pastel coral overlay.
#21: Cotton Candy Waves on Pastel Rainbow Hair
Experiment with cotton candy waves on pastel rainbow hair to accentuate the different colors. Keep in mind that fashion colors are high-maintenance, and pastel hair colours fade faster than more vivid colors.
#22: Pastel Lavender Locks
Ashy pastel hair is the best trend nowadays. Shades like this are great for women with pale and light skin tones. Get on the pastel train and try this ash lilac hair you won’t regret!
#23: Light Shade of Pastel Aqua
Women wanting an eye-catching hue should try a light shade of pastel aqua. Don’t be deterred from going blue! The best part about pastel hair colors is that they are easier to change due to their lighter nature.
#24: Pastel Blue Hair Ombre
#25: Hot Pink Pastel Hair
Hot pink pastel hair is perfect for women wanting to change their blonde and add some color temporarily. This pastel tone tends to fade back to blonde quickly. Ask your colorist for a solid blonde with a pastel pink overlay for this look.
#26: Rose Gold Pastel
Rose gold pastel is a versatile hair hue that complements neutral and warmer skin tones. People with richer shades of hair color should be pre-lightened to see it at its truest hue. To maintain this color, find a rose gold color conditioner.
#27: Pastel Mermaid Hair
Indigo pastel ombre recreates a very iridescent mermaid-inspired hue though being pastel in color. Hashtag dreamy for days!
#28: Pastel Pink
Candy floss all day with this carnival pastel pink color. Add on the hipster vibes with a wavy chop. Pastel colors like this are perfect for the summer!
#29: Mint Pastel Hair Color
Indeed, pastel shades are vivid and calming! Live like a pixie in the forest, rocking a soft-hued mint green hair dye.
#30: Pastel Lilac Shade
Embrace a pastel vanilla lavender hair made lavish with purple roots. Just remember to use purple shampoo and regularly visit your salon for touch-ups. Pastel hair colors require regular maintenance, too.
#31: Pastel Red Hair
The Red Queen has arrived! Waves and a v-line cut: only the best pastel red hair for her highness.
#32: Pastel Violet and Burgundy Mane
Pastel purple comes in all shades. The stacked bob went well with this burgundy hue. Look trendy and edgy by upgrading and making your darker hair color pastel.
#33: Pastel Silver Hair
Pastel silver hair is delicate and easy to amp up your style. It’s almost monochromatic with a tinge of luster.
#34: Pastel Green Hair
Not until recently has a pastel green hair dye been a trending color to wear on your crown. To keep this cloudy lime color, use products that protect and wash hair with cold water.
#35: Grey Pastel Hair Color
An ashy vanilla pastel hue is what your hair needs! Try out this color on your medium locks for some sensational times.
#36: Plush Light Pink Pastel Hair
That grayish pastel pink came with a warning: get noticed everywhere you go with plush, light pink hair and pastel highlights. This trend is an awesome upgrade for anyone’s natural hair color.
#37: Bright Orange Pastel
This pastel hair is a drop of peach, apricot, and all the sweet things you can think of! Muted ginger colors are the next big thing in this industry.
#38: Pastel Pink Ombre
This pastel pink ombre color was created by hairstylist Marisabel Romo of Chandler, AZ.
“The best thing about this hair color is the shine and contrast between the beautiful natural color and the way it transitions to pastel pink,” says Romo.
To get this gorgeous pastel-colored hair, Romo says you must be at a level 10 blonde (inside a banana peel). “It was easy to reach this on the model in the picture because her natural level is a 7 dark blonde. It’s a long process with level 3 dark brown hair,” she explains.
Pro Tip: Be mindful that you may have to return in about 2 weeks to refresh the color.
#39: Short Pastel Hair
This uplifting, fun, and playful pastel rainbow hair color was created by stylist Shannon Diamond of Scotland.
If you’re looking at fashion colors like these, Diamond says to consider their maintenance and wearability. She explains, “This image was captured four weeks after application, and all tones used have beautifully morphed into lighter versions of what they originally were.”
Products like Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner or Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo and Conditioner are key to keeping this pastel color long-lasting.
#40: Light Blue Pastel Tones
These light blue pastel tones are modern and were created by hairstylist Carol Geiger of Switzerland.
She explains, “These hair colors wash out beautifully. After 2 weeks, it will turn more green, and after 1 month, it turns into a light pastel mint color.”
Geiger says to consider that these types of color in hair don’t last very long. “They wash out more quickly than the natural colors like blonde or brown tones, so you probably have to go to the hair salon more often. You also have to bleach the hair until it’s white-blonde before you can do color like that, so your hair should be as healthy as possible,” she adds.
You have to be a woman who takes her time for the hair treatment because, after the bleaching and addition of the best pastel hair dye, your hair needs frequent treatments like masks, a good color-saving conditioner, and moisturizing leave-in & styling products.
#41: Pastel Teal
This pastel teal color has a ton of versatility and was created by hairstylist Jessica Jones of Brantford, ON.
“Ask your colorist to section out the two halves in a zigzag pattern so that depending on how you feel about parting your hair, it could look completely different,” says Jones.
She adds, “You must have your hair lightened to a very pale shade of blonde for the true tone to show. This takes patience and can be costly. Secondly, pastel shades tend to fade faster than richer/jewel-toned colors.”
#42: Pastel Unicorn Hair
This pastel unicorn hair was created with Mydentity hair dye and its bonding sidekick, Olaplex! While this pastel hairstyle is achievable using other brands, they were the foundation of this look. Ask your colorist to use the diagonal parting technique because it makes the color look different no matter where you choose to part it. Likewise, if parted down the center, it makes a ribbon effect. If you choose to part your hair on the side, it will take on a more dramatic peekaboo effect.
Pastel balayage will require toners, treatments, glazes, or full colors before the fun shades are even applied. Dark hair starting levels will take longer, requiring more steps to achieve pastels than naturally lighter hair. Also, each visit will take 5-7 hours to create the unicorn tears magic. Furthermore, pastels are a fragile color in any color line. They all tend to fade fast. So, if this is the pastel unicorn hair of your dreams, it’s considered a high-maintenance color and will require regular maintenance to maintain the pastel hues.
#43: Platinum White Pastel Hair Color
Go for a platinum white pastel hair color with an overtone to a slight pastel lilac root. It flatters women with warm skin undertones and was created by hairstylist Jaimie Brown of Marietta, OH.
If you have pastel-inspired hair color ideas, Brown says you should have a natural level 7 hair or above. Plus, maintenance is something to consider. Touch-ups are needed every 5 weeks.
“Ask your colorist to send you home with a purple shampoo (Pulp Riot Barcelona) for at-home maintenance,” she notes. “Also, use an at-home conditioning treatment and oil with a heat protectant once a week.”